Google Gets More Social with Google+

Google PlusGoogle has been trying to get into the social game for years.  There’s been Orkut, Google Lively, Wave, Buzz, OpenSocial, and many others.  Some of caught on to some extent and most of fallen flat.  But with more and more people finding things through social networking instead of search, Google really, really, really wants to get into the social networking game and dominate it.

Enter the most recent attempt by Google, Google+ (Not to be confused with +1).  Actually, Google+ isn’t just a single attempt.  Google+ encompasses several social networking ideas, including Circles, Sparks, Hangouts, Instant Uploads, and Huddle.  Each of these has their own features which are an attempt to improve upon the social experience people have on the web.


They’ve got some pretty cool ideas.  The first one the caught my eye was with Circles and how you can put people into different circles instead of everyone being a “friend”.  This way you can share things with specific people and not share those things with others.  So, if something is work related, you can share with your work circle.  If something is church related, you can share with your church circle.  If something is very personal, you can share with only your closest family and friends.

Interestingly, however, my first thought wasn’t, “This will be so cool to use instead of Facebook.”  My first thought was, “Man, this would be really cool if Facebook did this.”  It’s a not so subtle difference.  My initial reaction was not to want to switch or even start using a new social network, but rather that I hoped the social network I currently use would incorporate the feature.

The Difficulty For Google
I think this is what Google’s biggest hurdle is (and has been) for anything they try to do to get further into social networking.  Most people who want to be in social networking already are and they are using someone else’s (probably Facebook or Twitter) social network.  Google has to be able to either lure people away from their current social network or at least get them to try a new one.  However, the social aspect of social networking means you have to either somehow pull all your family and friends with you to a new network or abandon them…that’s asking a lot.

Recently, there’s been some noise made about people leaving Facebook.  Perhaps that is an opening for Google.  But I’m not convinced that’s the case.  Most of the information I’ve seen about people leaving Facebook, is because of privacy concerns.  I don’t think Google will appear any more attractive to them considering Google’s history of privacy violations.

The Benefits of Many Ideas
Google’s approach to this as several independent ideas gives them more opportunity, I believe.  It allows for some of the ideas to fail while others can still succeed.  I spoke about the difficulty of getting people to move to a new social network, but there are some features in Google+ which other social networks simply don’t offer and aren’t really in a position to offer them.  With those ideas, I think Google has a much better chance as they only have to convince people to try a new service.

It will be interesting to see how this works out for Google.

What do you think?

What do you think of the ideas Google is offering with Google+?

What is your favorite of the Google+ ideas?

Would you switch to Google+ or add them to your social networking?

3 Responses to “Google Gets More Social with Google+”

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  3. Most of the information I’ve seen about people leaving Facebook, is because of privacy concerns.